Conference Weekend with Nana and Poppy Barker

Jim and Ann made the trek to Charlotte to spend Conference Weekend with us. It was such a treat to have them here and Annie was in heaven with her Nana and Poppy around. We didn't to too much, showed them some area's of Charlotte that we are exploring and hung out around home. James had to work quite a bit and Jim and Ann were nice enough to do a few projects with me around the house. They even got Annie to bed one night while James and I went on a quick in-between-sessions date. We went mini golfing, which we haven't done since college and had a blast. We nearly died of laughter when I got a hole in one and (almost) beat James. Ann made some fun activities for Annie to do at home and we had fun doing them during the last conference session while Ann and Jim drove home. We love living just a drive away from Grandparents! Thanks for making this special trip! We love you.

Disney on Ice

I did a giveaway on Charlotte Smarty Pants for Disney on Ice and snagged 4 tickets. We invited the Burgons for a night of fun. These two girlies were in heaven. Despite the fact that I have tried to put off the Disney Princess obsession with Annie, she seems to have discovered it all on her own. She is obsessed. If you play princesses with her, you quickly become her favorite person. It was a fun night in Uptown with these darling girls. 

Welcome October

We kicked off October with our first pumpkin patch at Hall Family Farm for playgroup. It was ROASTING that day so it didn't feel too much like fall. We had a blast anyway. They just put in this massive new tube slide connected to a fire truck. The kids had a ball sliding down. We wrapped up our day with lunch at Pei Wei in Ballantyne and hit the road home. This is the best job ever.


September According to my iPhone

I did a consignment sale at the Harris YMCA and Annie was such a trooper being carted around all day and spending a ton of time at the gym childcare. After a loooong day I wound up with a tutu for her and took her to Whole Foods for some "pink ice cream." Apparently with no shoes… who is her mother?

These two melt my heart.

James was traveling a lot in September for work. We missed him dearly but were beyond thrilled for all of his adventures. I was also sick with envy over his New York visits and these pictures he sent me.

I hosted a decorating night at my house for our upcoming ward activity and made these tasty lemon cookies.

We fell more and more in love with this baby with this ultrasound. This is when they took a guess at the  gender. I was wishing James was with me. But we were thrilled with the news (more on that later).

Our water main broke. Which was super fun (sarcasm), as we were out of water for two days. We couldn't even flush our toilets. It was lovely. We've had quite a few water issues since we moved in. But thankfully our landlords have been great and we are on our way to recovering from this experience (ha). First world problems?

At just 14 weeks I was starting to show some pretty serious signs of a baby bump. This is about what I looked like at 20 weeks last time. But it's been fun to watch this baby grow so quickly.

Not sure what we were making here. But it definitely looks tasty.

Lots of crafting going on at our house these days. Annie could sit for hours and hours and craft.

We bought her her first pair of tennis shoes for soccer. I was super hesitant but wound up loving them for warmer park days.

We love living so close to our favorite park and wound up running into our bestie, Lily there one day. I couldn't get enough of these pint sized girls.

I set up Annie's big girl bed in the other room. I wanted her to warm up to to the idea just by looking at it. Ok, who am I kidding, I needed to warm up to the idea more than her. She had been climbing out of her crib for months. Somehow she did it rather safely and it wasn't really an issue. But with the baby on the way I knew it was probably time to start going this direction. I could hardly handle the bed in the other room. It made Annie seem so old.

The RS presidency was in charge of our ward fiesta. I handled this massive banner undertaking and loved how it turned out. It was definitely a fun night.

James was traveling on our Anniversary which was a bit sad. But made me love and miss him even more. It was one of those moments where you realize that marriage is so much more than gifts and gestures. James was away taking care of our family financially and i was here handling the day to day. Somehow the daily ins and outs of all of this makes me love our marriage even more. He arranged for Annie to stay late at preschool and sent me to get a prenatal massage and do whatever else I chose. I chose a solo lunch date at Nordstorm. Crazy how that sounded so lovely. But it was absolutely heavenly. Thanks so much to Donnarae for watching Annie. I gave James two new work shirts and a new tie for his biggest work trip yet. Looking back it is so fitting of this stage. He gave me a break from our toddler and I gave him work clothes. We are in the thick of it, aren't we? I wouldn't change it for one split second.

I did a review of the Charlotte Children's Theater for Charlotte Smarty Pants and took our friends Heather and Havyn along with us. The girls LOVED 101 Dalmatians. I can't wait to go back for another show.

I finnnnnallly got Annie's bathroom put together and we have loved having a space just for her to brush her teeth and feel like a big girl. She's so dang grown up these days.

Just taking the trash out in style.

More bumping… and a messy bedroom.

I was also able to do a little trial run for the new Britax click tight carsesat along with 14 of my friends. Obviously it wasn't a safety trial run, just the features. We wound up with an extra free carseat for our review. I have loved having an extra one to pop friends in and out of in the car. 

We pulled out our fall clothes. We bought this outfit in Boston over the summer and Marjorie has the exact same one. I just love fall/winter clothes on babies.

A car full of kids. Don't worry, he didn't really sit like that in the middle. I am loving this phase.

And more bump pictures. I just couldn't get over how much my bump was starting to show this early on. If only I knew how quickly it would really grow. Holy smokes. September was a good month for us, looking back on it. A month full of love for James, Annie and our new baby on the way. 

I is for Ice Cream Preschool

I hosted preschool at my house for the first time in September. I have to admit, I was terribly nervous about wrangling five 2/3 year olds all by myself. But I loved every second. As much as I love tiny newborns, I feel like having small events and watching my child's eyes light up is what I've waited my whole life for. Annie was so excited to have school at her house and that I was going to be her "teacher" for the day. I was amazed at how well the kids sat on their carpet squares during story time and how much they loved the activities. We colored, made fake ice cream cones, and made "ice cream" out of frozen bananas and peanut butter. I am completely in heaven with this preschool program we are doing. The moms make me want to be better and do more for Annie. It's been a great warm up to the real deal for us.

Apple Picking at SkyTop Orchard

One of our favorite family traditions since we moved to North Carolina is apple picking in September! The Blue Mountain Ridge is just stunning in the fall. SkyTop has gotten progressively more busy since we moved here but we still love it. We convinced two of our friends to meet us for the famous Apple Cider donuts… and apple picking of course. 

I came decked out in my fall gear while James chose to dress for the weather. By the end Annie and I were so hot and James was in heaven. Hysterical. We had a ball none the less. Annie really got into it and we quickly learned that you are required to take home EVERYTHING you pick. Needless to say, we wound up with a huge bag of apples. As James put it, "Apple Picking is always a top play nominee." One of our family favs.

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